Killed by drunk drivers

Alanna Kelly

A candlelight vigil gave families across the Central Okanagan the chance to come together and honour loved ones lost to impaired drivers.

Families from Enderby, Kelowna and Sicamous sat for a ceremony hosted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving at the Laurel Packinghouse Sunday afternoon.

The grandmother of Travis Hurlbert, an 18-year-old who was killed by a drunk driver, said the consequences need to be stiffer for impaired drivers.

“His birthday would be tomorrow,” said Debbie Dalke through tears. “It’s very tough… it’s not easy.”

“The circumstances for a drunk driver are not harsh enough, just not harsh enough, they absolutely need stiffer sentences for them,” she said.

According to MADD Canada, impaired drivers kill four Canadians and injure 175 others each day.

National President of MADD, Patricia Hynes-Coates said impaired driving due to alcohol is on the down swing but unfortunately impairment due to drugs is on the upswing.

“We want them to know we are here to help them,” she said. “It is not just the crash that happens, it is what happens after the crash, the days, weeks, months and years.”

Hynes-Coates said you see the family members have a determination to stop anyone else from losing a loved one.

“They try to find some peace and by coming together that is what happens,” she said.

A National phone line is available for support to anyone who needs support by calling 1-800-665-6233 ext. 222.

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